Overloading, untrained drivers killing people in Himachal
SOLAN-The first accident took place on April 7, in Shillai tehsil, and claimed 21 lives. The inquiry conducted by the SDM has pointed out that the ill-fated private bus was carrying 72 passengers against its capacity of 44 seats and reckless driving on a narrow road meant for smaller vehicles had led to the fatal accident.
Another private bus that met with an accident, claiming 21 lives, on the Renuka Jee-Dadahu road in June was also being plied on a road meant for smaller buses. The Nahan SDM, in her report, has pointed out that since there was no board on the road to warn that it was not fit for bigger vehicles, the driver, who appeared to have little experience of hill driving, failed to negotiate the narrow curvy road, causing the bus to plunge into a gorge.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has been directed to widen the roads as per the norms, erect crash barriers and boards on spots prone to accidents to warn the motorists. The poor maintenance of roads and failure to undertake timely widening of roads is a problem plaguing a majority of the roads in Sirmaur. Also, the transport authorities do little to check overloading which is frequently causing accidents.
The reports have also directed the superintendents of police and regional transport officials to initiate a special drive to inspect the passenger vehicles to help avert such incidents in the future. These reports have been sent to principal secretaries of transport and revenue and department of home for further action.
Though magisterial inquires are constituted each time accidents claiming several lives occur, there is little adherence to recommendations put forth by these inquiries as the PWD is perpetually marred by the lack of budget and the Transport Department by the lack of staff.